Aboitiz Power unit inaugurates 59-MW San Carlos solar plant

by Alena Mae S. Flores – April 19, 2016 at 11:45 pm

from Manila Standard Today

San Carlos Sun Power Inc., a unit of Aboitiz Power Corp., on Tuesday inaugurated a 59-megawatt solar power plant in San Carlos City, Negros Occidental.

The solar plant, the first solar facility of Aboitiz Power, is now delivering 82 gigawatthours a year of clean and renewable energy to the Visayas grid.

The project started delivering energy to the Visayas grid on March 9, 2016, ahead of the March 15 deadline imposed by the Energy Department for solar power projects under the feed-in-tariff mechanism.

SacaSun’s clean and renewable power output is expected to qualify for FiT incentives and get priority dispatch in the electricity spot market under the FiT rate for solar power at P8.69 per kilowatt-hour.

Aboitiz Power president and chief operating officer Antonio Moraza said any expansion in the same site would no longer be feasible because of limited availability of land.

“We would have to acquire or lease more land and am not sure if there is any available,” Moraza said.

He said any expansion in other parts of the country would have to wait for the government’s resolution on oversubscription for solar power projects.

“FiT for solar is oversubscribed. Without FiT, solar is not viable…We will have to wait for action of DoE [Department of Energy]. I am sure they will find a resolution over subscription,” Moraza said.

The SacaSun project sits on a 75-hectare property inside the San Carlos Economic Zone in Barangay Punao, San Carlos City on the eastern side of Negros Island.

The project, whose construction started in August 2015, employed more than 4,000 workers throughout the construction phase.

About 80 percent of the hired workers came from the host community of San Carlos City and about a third or 1,500 were women. The women assembled parts of the solar panels, while the men and technicians carried the assembled parts for installation at the solar farm.

“AboitizPower is one of the country’s largest producers of renewable energy and our Cleanergy portfolio generates 1,263 MW, or close to 40 percent of our total net sellable capacity. This represents our commitment to support the government’s push for a balance of renewable and non-renewable power sources to address the country’s increasing energy demand,” AboitizPower chief executive Erramon Aboitiz said.

Aboitiz Power has other power projects in the pipeline, including SN Aboitiz Power’s 8.5-MW Maris Canal hydro plant in Isabela, Hedcor’s 68-MW Manolo Fortich hydro plant in Bukidnon and Aseagas’ 8.8-MW biomass facility in Batangas.

The company also has geothermal and coal power plants.

The company is also on track of achieving its goal of increasing attributable capacity to 4,000 MW by 2020.